Hungarian sculptors

Gyorgyi Lantos and Istvan Mate

While unwitnessed struggles were waged in the fine arts both in Hungary and Europe between isms, styles and trends, but first and foremost between people and groups in the decades around the turn of the millenium, some artists, conspicuous by their artistic talent and achievements, were determined to stay out of the fray, and rising above the noisy groups and axcommunication, they concentrated their efforts pn creating an art witch points beyond the present place and time. Their indispensable presence is rooted in their "own way of staying away".

That is not unprecendented in Hungarian art. We have seen such a thing before. Committed to the philosophy of "the best will stay away", like islands, they created value of a global scale in their solitude. The list of such artists is very long: in literature from Ady to Imre Kertesz, in painting Csontvary, Aba-Novak, in sculpture Meggyesy, or in recent timer Imre Varga os Lajos Svaby. It was not the media or art criticism of a dubious value that made them immortal, but the intimate relationship between the artist and his/her audience embedded in what they have created.

Both Gyorgyi Lantos and Istvan Mate are such artists who tend to stay away and follow their own course, yet, they are present in very concrete terms and they will always be present. They built their careers on a solid foundation and on vast resources. In their work two things are closely and inextricably interrelated: an elevated intention to show something, witch is so characteristic of the internal development of Hungarian sculpture, and the great, life-centric, stylising, sympbolic traditions of European art from the Greeks and Romans through the Renaissance and up to the present time: Rodin, Strobl, Mestrovic, Meggyesy and Manzu, to mention just a few random examples.

In the art of Gyorgyi Lantos and Istvan Mate, tradition always appears in an adequate form, in a delicate balance, with modernity, which in enriched with a sovereign use of the artistic means and their own ideas. They are not lost in the jungle of formal innovations. Their art is an integral and organic part of the mainstream of art history. Their best pieces of art carry the great ethos of European culture.

The two artists, with the same identity and similar social blackground, come from the environment of tradesmen and lower middle class of the Hungarian countryside. After completing their studies at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts, they managed to find their own artistic course, a mark of the most authentic talents. In a similan fashion, they also found each other in love and an early marriage, which has turned out to be a lasing and faithful bond over the decades. Temptations to change the course of their did not arise for them.

They never wanter to shock, they wanted to be accepted, in the same way as the social, national and family blackground, from where they came and where they belong, wanted to be accepted in a European setting. They represent and their art their blackground and their country. Their artistic issues in a modern setting. The answers they offer are modern answers with classical means about human challenges, life and death, present and past...

Istvan Puskas

Gulacsy Art Gallery


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